Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Books of the Month

“One Second to Glory” by Lew Freedman is the story of Iditarod Champion musher Dick Mackey. The book gets its title from his 1978 victory in which he won by one second. The story begins with a brief overview of Dick’s childhood and how he got to Alaska in the first place. It follows him through his early years and chronicles how he got started into mushing and eventually racing. If you’re a dog history buff and love reading about how things got started, then you absolutely will love reading about the early years of the Iditarod. Dick Mackey did it all from competing to race marshaling to flying a bush plane on the Iditarod trail. And since the story is transcribed directly from him, you get it in his own words.

The Mackey family is a very well known mushing family, with several Iditarod champions. Some of whom are multiple winners. While the story doesn’t really focus so much on the children growing up, it does give you a glimpse into the childhoods they had and what helped to shape them into the iron competitors that they are today.

What I did find pretty interesting and didn’t realize before reading the book, was that Dick Mackey essentially founded Coldfoot, Alaska. This may not sound interesting in and of itself, but he started with a ramshackle “diner” and gas station, that actually turned into a real town and truck stop. In an area that sees temperatures hitting 60 below and colder, this is no small feat considering that your construction time frame is essentially limited to the “summer” months.

The book does tend to jump around a lot as far as time frame from chapter to chapter, which can be a bit confusing at times. Once you realize that the entire story line is not necessarily chronological, you’ll get over that.;0) I do also get the feeling that since this is the story that is being told to the author many years after things have actually taken place, some things may be remembered with rose colored glasses. Again, you’ll get over that for the good story.;0)

All together I thought it was an enjoyable book and fun read since the Iditarod is coming up in March.

"The New Complete Great Dane" by Noted Authorities (I seriously LOVE how they phrased that!) is a great book for someone interesting in the breed and it's history. For those who have a mentor in the breed already, there are countless moments in this book that I swear it's verbatim what you will hear! It actually kind of cracked me up a little at times.;0) There are also times where you can tell you need to read between the lines of what's being said or NOT said to get at the crux of something.

Regardless, I found this a very enjoyable book to read and I feel that anyone with a love for the breed with also find it highly enjoyable.

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